Long before the New York Yankees broadcast team consisted of both David Cone and Michael Kay, a far younger version of the Kayster was just a local radio man (and Yankee fan) giddily sitting on set next to Coney following the Bombers’ drought-breaking title in 1996.
That season was a journey for Cone, who battled back from an aneurysm in his pitching shoulder that very nearly knocked him out midway through the campaign. Despite that heaviness, though, you can certainly see a bit of the righty’s modern trademark glee in this recently-surfaced postgame video clip from the immediate aftermath of Game 6 of the 1996 World Series in the Bronx.
Time Machine time. The Yankees had just knocked out the Atlanta Braves, who were a budding dynasty and not a plucky underdog. Cone was on the verge of his 34th birthday, and was still nearly three years shy of twirling his own perfect game in the midst of a Bronx-centric run of titles.
Kay? He was just 35 (he was that young at some point?!), sitting alongside Al Trautwig and probably wishing he could just sit in that dugout and take it all in for several hours.
For the lifelong Yankee fan in all of us who wants the present to feel like the past and vice versa, we’re extremely thankful this clip was unearthed.
And so was Kay, who thanked the person who pulled it.
This 1996 World Series clip with Yankees ace David Cone is awesome.
Now, Cone, never impervious to pressure, surely would’ve taken the ball gladly if there’d been a need for a Game 7 at the Stadium.
Still, though, we understand why there was a bit of trepidation there.
After all, the severe shoulder injury had made the rest of his career uncertain (that’s why he thanked Dwight Gooden for picking up the slack), and he’d just thrown six extremely stressful one-run innings in Game 3, otherwise known as the victory that started the Yankees’ comeback rolling in Atlanta.
Now, he’d have been on full rest and he’d have been at home … but how many bullets did the righty really have left? After all, there was a time he thought he’d never pitch again. Best not to chance it, and we can all be thrilled the team retired Mark Lemke after all (on Charlie Hayes’ second chance to do so).
Though the Yankees are in slightly dire straits these days, we can at least ignore recency bias and be glad we’re not Braves fans. Prior to Game 1 of the 2021 World Series, Atlanta’s Game 2 victory in ’96 was their most recent World Series single-game win.
That makes this Cone-Kay 2021 booth preview clip all the more relevant.
Even if you’re nervous about the Yankees offseason, at least you can take solace in the fact that the Bombers have won 25 World Series games during that unholy span. We’ve also got these two still on the air to help talk us through the current drought … which’ll hopefully be evoking ’96 and ending soon, too.